Parking issue near Sidney Middle School discussed

By Sheryl Roadcap - [email protected]

SIDNEY — The issue of parking complaints near the Sidney Middle School was discussed at Sidney City Council’s Monday evening teleconference meeting.

Jon Crusey, Sidney public works director, brought forth the parking issue and sought direction from council on how to proceed. He said the city received complaints from residents who live across from the Sidney Middle School regarding parents blocking driveways while they are waiting to pick their children up from school.

Street Superintendent Brian Green spoke with one of the residents, Crusey said, and identified the problem areas are at Chase Avenue and the alley at the north end of Chase Avenue. He proposed the area to be designated as “No Parking” between 2 and 4 p.m. on all days school is in session to alleviate the parking issues.

Council member Jenny VanMatre noted the school used to have cars pick up students from a different side of the school, starting all on school property, and ending out on Fair Road. She and other members couldn’t off-hand recall why the area of pickup line was changed, but wondered if it could be flipped back. It was noted during a discussion that common courtesy for the houses of which cars are parking in front of goes a long way. After a brief discussion, Crusey was directed to communicate with the school about the issue and see if the pick-up area could be switched around.

In other business, there was also a brief discussion on the recommendation of the Compensation Commission, which was held on Jan. 28, 2021, to set the mayor and council members’ salaries. The commission meets every odd numbered year prior to March 1 to determine their salaries.

Following a discussion in an executive session, the commission decided to set the salary for the mayor at $5,900 and council members at $4,800 for the next two years, starting Dec. 1, 2021.

According to the city charter, City Council may, by a resolution, reject the salary recommendation. A resolution must be passed within 30 days of the Jan. 28 meeting. Council did not reject the recommendation, therefore, the new salary amounts will become effective Dec. 1, 2021.

Although Council member Darryl Thurber said he was not rejecting the recommendations, he noted the Sidney mayor makes significantly less than other area mayors and maybe they should take a look at the difference. He referred to a recent salary survey of county seats in surrounding counties or of similar sized cities which council members received with the recommendation packet. It was pointed out by others in the meeting that those mayors worked the job as a full-time job and do not have a city manager.

Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan thanked the city clerk for including the chart of surrounding communities’ salaries of the salaries of council members and mayors. She also noted there had been times in the past when they had seen an issue with people not wanting to be on City Council because they thought members would make more money than they do.

At the end of the meeting, Barhorst informed council the Ohio Historic Bridge Association is working to have the Zenas King Bridge at Tawawa Park declared a national historic landmark. He noted the process is arduous and will certainly take some time. He also said he just learned about a rule that prohibits the name of any living person being on a historical marker. Under the original agreement when obtaining the bridge, the name of Tim Hemmelgarn, who donated the bridge, was to be posted on a marker on the bridge. This marker will need to be removed and relocated near it instead, Barhorst said.

The Sidney City Council also held a special meeting on Monday immediately prior to its regular council meeting. This meeting was also held by a hybrid method, with board members in attendance in council chambers and others able to join virtually.

The purpose of the meeting was for City Council to hold an executive session to consider the employment of a public employee. No action was taken after council members came out of the executive session.

By Sheryl Roadcap

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.